February: Stories and Songs
#1
[incoming, but if you beat me to the punch on posting "awesome things _____ did this month" don't let me get in your way!]
my whole life is thunder.
#2
By the rising of the full moon, a strange thing: no Galliard of Cold Crescent of Forgotten Questions had come forward to claim the role of Talesinger for this moot.

The Cracking ends with the Truthcatcher relaying this to the gathered septs. She says this heavily, and with some measure of... embarrassment, perhaps. Or shame.

Travelers who heard the howl from a distance and came to the moot late, joining during the Cracking, look at one another. They are a single pack, and their tribe is not hard to guess: each one is tall. Each one is heavy of brow and broad of shoulder. All but one has long blonde hair, held back half-braided and half-loose. All, even the lone female traveling with them, is bared to the waist, revealing scars. Some are scars of great honor, rubbed with ash to leave dark marks on their fair skin. They came in modern clothing but shed much of it when they entered the bawn. Many of them have shapeshifted, repeatedly, during the moot, as though they cannot stand one form alone.

They are five. One of each auspice: the savage-eyed female with more scars than the others, their modi. The smallest of them, the only one with dark hair and the only one with short hair, their forseti. The giant of a man with the red-gold beard and the fists like hams, their godi. And the brothers, so similar as to briefly seem like twins, who wear no beards, their skald and their rotagar.

When their skald steps forward toward the fire, he says nothing. He carries as much rage as the average ahroun has in their heart; his eyes reflect the flames as he looks to the Truthcatcher. There is darkness to the look he gives Avery, but it pushes right against the line of disrespect without ever crossing it. Behind him, slowly, come the other three males. Their modi does not join her pack in the center.

Avery waits a moment, gauging the skald staring at her, and then she looks at the Great Alpha. He only whuffs. She turns back, and she nods, and she snaps the bone in her hand entirely, tossing both shards into the fire. Without another word, she yields to the stranger and his pack, tonight's Talesinger.

--

They do not come empty-handed. Godi carries a small drum. Forseti withdraws a wood-carved pipe from a pouch sewn along his thigh. Rotagar reaches into a sack with him and takes out a strange stringed instrument.

They stand at the four corners of the fire, the Skald standing at the North. They face the fire, their backs to the Garou gathered around them. It is the fire they stare at. Only the Godi goes to his knees, his drum set before him on the dirt. He is still shoulder-height on most of those standing around him in human form.

He is the one who begins, late into the rite now, beating out a loose sort of rhythm at first. Moments into it, their Rotagar begins to play the melody of the song they are sharing, his eyes not on his instrument but on the flames. Soon the Forseti joins them on his flute. It is only a minute, perhaps, before their Skald begins to sing, his voice low, and comfortable, and surprisingly beautiful. Quiet, though. Steady.

"Ask veitk standa,
heitir Yggdrasill
hár baðmr, ausinn
hvíta auri...
"

His brother's voice joins him, a touch lighter. When the flute is not being played, the Forseti sings as well. The Godi's voice is a low hum through the song, an anchoring weight against the rising voices of the other Fenrir. His brothers. His packmates.

Standing with the other Garou, Modi only nods her head in time with the drum, her face impassive, her arms at her sides. Every so often her eyes try to close, as though she is lost in the song, this paean to the World Tree, but she always forces them open again. To watch over the other Fenrir. Her brothers. Her pack.

Voices fall away. They leave the Skald singing alone with drum, and pipe, and string. Voices become nothing more than sound: no word, only the pack humming together heavy and vibratory.

It ends as it begins, with only the drum, until even that ends to silence.

--

That silence lasts only for a few breaths. A few heartbeats. The Skald turns finally, away from the fire, facing the Garou.

He says nothing. The song leaves a feeling of sanctity over the moot, now embedded for all time in the rite. His hands turn palm-up, spread to either side.

And wolves they are, tuned in to body language and unspoken communication like no true mortal. They can hear, though the Skald says nothing:

What you got?





--
[Inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M0OooHqmxs]
my whole life is thunder.


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